How Will the New York Jets Replace Lineman Robert Turner Going Forward?

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There were a lot of positives for the New York Jets in their 2011 preseason debut against the Houston Texans this past Monday.

However, the next perfect game in football will be the first.

In an unfortunate sequence in the first quarter, key Jets lineman Robert Turner got tangled up with Texans rookie J.J. Watt, and Turner fell awkwardly and had to be carted off the field.

What we know now is that Turner suffered a broken right leg on the play, and the timetable for his return is not good. Manish Mehta of the Daily News shed some light on the situation, explaining how the exact recovery time is still unknown at the moment.

According to Ryan, team doctors will have a better gauge on the recovery time when they do the surgery later in the week. Ryan said the difference in the timetable could be “significant” depending on what the doctors will have to do during surgery.

Jenny Vrentas of the Star-Ledger reported that the recovery could be up to three months, which would really throw a wrench into the Jets’ plans.

Turner’s recovery could take about 12 weeks, one of the people said — which would keep him out until early November, a blow to the Jets. The fourth-year player will have a procedure later this week, at which point a more specific timetable will be nailed down.

The 27-year-old Turner was a key contributor to the Jets on all sides of the ball. He was starting at center against the Texans, and is also the backup at both guard spots.

He plays an integral role on the goal-line defense as well as special teams, where he excels on the kick return team. His key block against the Pittsburgh Steelers sprung Brad Smith for an untouched kick return touchdown in the Jets’ Week 15 victory last season.

At the moment, the Jets will use Robby Felix as their backup center, with recently converted offensive lineman Matt Kroul third-string behind All-Pro starter Nick Mangold. Vladmir Ducasse is now likely the top backup guard.

If the Jets are going to lose Turner for a significant period of time, it’s not hard to think that they’ll look outside of the organization to find a reinforcement.

Former New York Giants Shaun O’Hara and Rich Seubert are free agents, for example. Seubert is reportedly still not 100% after recovering from a leg injury, but O’Hara is definitely an intriguing option.

A three-time Pro Bowler, O’Hara may command more money than the Jets would be willing to give out for a guy they’d want to be a sixth man.

The options aren’t exactly great at this time of year, but as camp moves forward and teams begin to make cuts, it would not be surprising to see the Jets bring in a free agent. That is probably the best course of action, if you ask me.

For now, the Jets are set with their starting offensive line, with D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Matt Slauson, Nick Mangold, Brandon Moore, and Wayne Hunter left-to-right. But with the loss or Rob Turner, their depth is paper thin.

It already was weakened by the retirement of Damien Woody, but the injury to Turner exacerbates that problem. For a team with Super aspirations, it’s a problem that cannot be overlooked.

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